Fox News is the unlikely candidate to hold the next Democratic Presidential Debate live on their cable news network. What is clear at this point is that the right-leaning network has already cashed in big on the primary season with the GOP Presidential debates, which have ended up with Donald Trump as their presumed nominee following the drop out of all other candidates.
But for a network like Fox News to extend an invitation for the Democratic nominees to debate on a stage that will likely be filled with right-leaning conservative moderators, and audience as well, there is some inherent risk in that.
According to Politico, Bernie Sanders has already accepted Fox News’ invitation to debate on their network, even though he would be in what some would characterize as enemy territory. That is also something that could be a sticking point for any presidential nominee should Hillary Clinton turn down their offer to debate on the Fox News network.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 18, 2016
This could also be a major catch 22 for Hillary Clinton. Just consider the possible outcomes of this debate on the Fox News network.
First of all, if Clinton were to just flat out refuse the invitation by Fox News, then she would be seen as weak. If there is one thing that American voters do not want in their next President, that is someone who is weak on both domestic and foreign policy. That would also be something Donald Trump would deeply pounce on, should he be running against Clinton in the general election come November.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 14, 2016
Another real drawback for Clinton if she were to refuse is that Bernie Sanders would also heavily cite the instance as a reason that she cannot back up her actions. Both Sanders and Clinton can reasonably be seen as the enemies of Fox News, but they would have to face their enemies every day should they become the next President. So for one to accept the invitation and the other to refuse, that could make for some interesting political ads and social media commentary come the following day.
Americans should remember that the primary season is far from over, and if the rhetoric of the Bernie Sanders campaign is any indicator, it won’t be over until the Democratic National Convention this summer in Philadelphia.
But if Clinton were to accept the invitation from Fox News, then that means that the debate could be frontloaded to give Bernie Sanders all the power, which could essentially take some of the wind out of her sails and give Donald Trump a real advantage over Clinton in the general election.
This could also be seen as a move by Fox News to intimidate the Democratic candidates and force them to work against each other in perpetuity, or at least until the convention. By doing so, the GOP essentially can sit back and watch each of the candidates tear each other apart. That will also better position the GOP to gain votes at the polls this fall.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 18, 2016
Either way, Fox News has extended invitations to both candidates, and only Bernie Sanders has accepted at this time. There is likely a very good reason that Hillary Clinton has not answered the invitation. There is also a good reason to believe that Clinton will wait until the 11th hour to answer the call from Fox News, taking just enough time to get the momentum and support she needs no matter which way she chooses.
Fox News’ Bill Sammon also weighed in.
“Fox News has suggested several debate venues in California to the Democratic National Committee and both candidates. We are also offering a variety of dates, being careful to exclude Friday and Saturday nights, per the agreement between the DNC and candidates. Fox will release further debate details as appropriate, given that only one of the two candidates has accepted our debate invitation so far.”
— Fox News Politics (@foxnewspolitics) May 18, 2016
One thing that Bernie Sanders has asked of Fox News is that they come to a mutually agreeable decision as to who the moderators are going to be, which could also be a good thing for Hillary Clinton. But it would also be a good thing for her to get in on the event early so that she can also have a voice in who the moderators will be, given that it is after all on Fox News.
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